I often get asked where the best places to eat in Cardiff are, I'm always more than happy to give people recommendations as I spend most of my time eating out and trying new places.
I moved to Cardiff in 2009 and things were a little slow to pick up here, there weren't many independents and the chains that did exist were rather uninspiring.
Trying to get a comprehensive list of recommendations together was tough because there was just so much choice!This list is by no means comprehensive (or in any order of 'best'), there's a fairly round mix of breakfast, lunch and dinner and price scales.
Before Locke and Remedy moved into the old library building, the building went through a constant cycle of venues. It used to be a rock bar, then a sports bar and then it was empty until we were blessed with Locke and Remedy. The decor is cosy and the menu is concise - you either have an option of pizza or burgers but these are absolutely excellent, you also have a choice of chips - the parmesan fries are excellent The cheese burger is probably up there in my top 5 and I hear amazing things about the portobello mushroom burger.
Also a shout out to their amazing drink choices and great service!
Amongst the seemingly endless sea of Costa's and Starbucks Little Man Coffee is a breath of fresh air. Taking pride in serving excellent coffee you can really tell that this is their passion. There's also a short but excellent food menu, and there are always pastries and cakes on offer.
It's located slap bang in the middle of town so it's the perfect place to settle down with your laptop and crack on with work.
One of my locals and always a favourite to visit with friends. Penylan Pantry take pride in serving local sourced produce, it's also a deli where you can pick up all sorts of yummy things to stock your shelves at home with. There's a large selection of Welsh produce and they offer a vegetable box which gets delivered to your door.
If you're thinking of heading down on the weekend get here early, it's a small space and fills up quickly!
Open since 1990 (so older than me!) The New York Deli is a Cardiff institution. If you want value for money and you're partial to a food induced post lunch nap then this is the place for you. You can either work your way through the extensive menu of bagels, hoagies and sandwiches or you can make your own.
Great for a work lunch or hungover Saturday debrief with friends, just make sure you bring lots of napkins and don't wear white like I did.
Juno Lounge forms part of my weekends pretty regularly. Juno Lounge comes under the 'Loungers' group which is run by Cosy Club, there are loads of different Lounges across the country so these will no doubt be familiar.
They're not going to win any prizes for innovative food but it's always yummy, well priced and the atmosphere is always super cosy and inviting. Friends and me love to come here for a glass of wine on the weekends (or midweek depending on how tough work gets!). There are always deals on during the week so worth checking if you have a Lounge near you.
The Park Plaza in Cardiff is more than just a hotel, it's firmly part of the Cardiff nightlife and restaurant scene. The KuKu Club is always popular and the restaurant offers everything from Afternoon Teas with a twist (Gentleman's Tea or Hendricks Afternoon Tea anyone?) to an outstanding Chef's Table Menu.
In hotels the menus sometimes come off as uninspired and bland, but that's not the case here. Chef Justin has cooked for Springsteen and the Queen so you know that it's going to be outstanding. I had the privilege of working my way through the Chef's Table Menue with some local food bloggers and when the pièce de résistance (the deconstructed beef wellington) came out we all just ate in silence which really says it all.
Pop in for a drink and soak up the lovely atmosphere and then see if any of the afternoon teas catch your eye.
Continuing on the course of afternoon teas, if you like vintage crockery, endless choices of tea and an excellent choice of cakes then Barker Tea House is for you. The sister of Coffee Barker (and soon the be joined by Barker Gelato) the owners have got to decor spot on. It's a cosy place to settle in for a break from shopping and to catch up with friends. Both sites are always rammed on the weekend but it's worth the wait.
Barker Tea House serves up a more extensive breakfast menu than Coffee Barker, plus it's opposite one of my favourite shops in Cardiff - Miss Patisserie where you can stock up on all your pamper needs after your cake coma.
I dare you to find a better burger in Cardiff. If you think you've found a better burger I will fight you about it. Grazing Shed opened up in Cardiff about 2 years ago now and since then have gone from strength to strength opening a second branch on Cardiff's famous St Mary's Street where they now also serve breakfast.
The food is all locally sourced and encourages sustainable practice. They also do vegan and vegetarian burgers so there really is something for everyone. The Grazing Shed also have service and speed down. You just about have time to pay for your meal and get your drink before your piping hot burger is placed in front of you.
This place is hands down one of the best things to happen to Cardiff.
The Pot has had a mini face lift in recent times. Moving away from being more than just a cafe it now serves up French inspired food and often hosts supper clubs or film screenings accompanied by excellent food.
It's always an old favourite of mine to pop in for a hot drink, but be aware on the weekends you'll be hard pressed to get a table if you leave it too late. The Pot also serves up vegetarian and vegan breakfasts all for reasonable prices.
Oh how I love you Stag Coffee, let me count the ways. Just a few doors down from The Pot is another one of my well loved haunts. Opened up by the old manager of the student favourite - The Woodville, Stag Coffee prides itself on it's massive breakfasts and cosy atmosphere.
My friends and I have spent hours here working through the drinks menu and loading up on carbs. It's the perfect spot for a Sunday brunch with a mild hangover. The staff are great and I've yet to have a bad experience here.
As with so many places on this list, get here early, it gets busy and the best seats by the window are always a favourite.
I recently did a detailed post about my experience at The Early Bird but it deserves to be on this list regardless. The bread is excellent, the breakfasts tasty and different to the usual. The coffee is outstanding and Ceri and the team are wonderful, always taking time to stop for a quick chat no matter how busy they are.
Pop in and pick up some baked goods or settle in for some French toast and hot coffee, you won't regret it.
This little shop is just a couple of streets over from my house and part of my regular visits. Not only do they do cute little cakes as well as bagels and paninis but they also have a little deli section for cheeses and chocolates. Their shop also sells gorgeous kitchenware and gifts.
Tea and Cake are part of the local Roath fabric and I can't imagine Roath without them. It's the perfect place to stop by before or after a long walk around Roath Park Lake.
The Potted Pig is Cardiff's worst kept secret. Tucked away in an old bank vault underneath St Mary's Street, The Potted Pig serves up local produce executed brilliantly. The menu regularly changes to reflect the seasonal produce but certain staples such as the roasted pork belly always make an appearance in some shape or form. There are always excellent vegetarian options too so don't let the name of the restaurant put you off if you're a veggie!
If that doesn't tempt you in then knowing that The Potted Pig has a four page gin menu. The coconut Hoxton gin comes highly recommended from yours truly. If you're not convinced and want to sample lunch first, The Potted Pig does a really good lunch time deal - 2 course for £12.
Always make sure you get a booking sorted, this place is very popular!
I hope you've enjoyed this post, let me know if you'd be interested in more food recommendations, I haven't even coved a fraction of what Cardiff has to offer!